Japan Diet Passes Teachers' Working Hour Reform Bill

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 4 (Jiji Press)--The Diet, Japan's parliament, enacted a bill Wednesday to introduce a new working-hour system that will enable public school teachers to take extended holidays, as part of work style reforms.

The legislation to revise the special law on teacher salaries was adopted at a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, by a majority vote, with support mainly from the Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling bloc. The bill cleared the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, last month.

Local governments will be allowed to manage teachers' work hours on an annual basis under the new system from fiscal 2021.

The system is designed to enable teachers to take some five consecutive days off and add other days, such as Saturdays and Sundays, during school breaks in the summer so that they can have a longer holiday, in exchange for increasing regular work hours in busy periods.

There is strong opposition to the measure among teachers, with some arguing that they are "busy supervising student club activities and taking part in training sessions during summer breaks" and others claiming that the move will "highly likely lead to an increase" in their workload. Proponents of the system say that it will "help improve duties during summer breaks" and prompt "a review of work on a year-round basis."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press